it’s one of those grey mornings when I can pretend like the world doesn’t know I’m awake yet. So I’ll hide in my room for a while with a book and my guitar. and I’ll try and make this last as long as possible.
I haven’t written in a while. Mostly because of business or x number of other excuses I could conjure up. I do however have a very irritating twitch in my lower left eye-lid which I tried to calm by breathing heavily. no luck.
I’m coming back to a place of need. For expression, on the one hand. For union, on the other. So often though these things are at odds with each other. Let me explain (as best I can from the seat of my unreasonable sense of reason).
Artistic expression as I experience it seems to be like most things in this life—an offensive contradiction. Artists usually get pegged for suffering from what I guess we’ll call an insatiable need to communicate or express. My dear friend mr. Orillion said something to the effect that artists are “constantly de-constructing reality as they see it” and I can’t disagree. I would also add that I am often trying to re-assemble that which I deconstruct for my own life’s understanding. Call me a weird-o, but that’s why I actually enjoy judgment. Take me apart sometimes PLEASE, so we can go over the parts that need some adjustment or replacement. Then put me back together. I’m guaranteed to function better as a living breathing thinking human being. I’m guaranteed to love more deeply. I’m probably going to break down less with some regular maintenance and defragging. See I just did it again.
K whatever. What I’m trying to say is that I can barely separate myself from these eyes that are constantly observing and processing and trying to synthesize things that are going on around me. Today we celebrated memorial day. I know that because it says so on most standard-issue calendars, because either “Band of Brothers” or some history program is on several channels commemorating our lost brothers and sisters in combat, and because streets are often lined with flags of our fathers, and most people enjoyed a day off to spend time with friends and family. But then I start to deconstruct wars, how we celebrate our fallen patriots, the way we life in relative freedom under the stars and stripes that have for so long represented something great in our noble system of governance, community, and participation in democracy. Then I am consumed with moral implications of war, my own sense of non-violence, coupled with the patriotic call to serve, the fear of being strapped in by a utility belt and carry an assault rifle. Etcetera. It usually doesn’t end here, but I’ll spare myself.
Anyways, I’m realizing more and more how often I recede and just watch or observe things. I am and how bloody loud the voices in my head are. How much I talk to myself, narrate things, describe, churn and regurgitate. It’s frightening. This is inherently lonely. The moment when a brush hits the canvas my presence of mind enters another playing field and I am consumed by the communication of one image and one image alone. If it’s a song idea, my mind can readily assume cruise control over the random little actions it takes to drive a car while my mind is creating phrases, rhymes, hooks, etc. And before you know it I’m scribbling on my forearm because I can’t wait for the next available piece of paper. But this all takes place in reaction to a world that I’m not necessarily participating in at the moment.
But what an artist wants more than that moment of creation, maybe even more than the entire process of creation, (which as I said is inherently lonely) is an audience with which to share, respond, and evoke an emotion. Otherwise it remains a relatively static piece of irrelevance that I can only retrace in memory for having created it. The need for expression, while breeding isolation and internalization of subject/object x, is met with the need for some communion. It’s like a priest celebrating mass by himself. It doesn’t make sense and it’s not Eucharist, unless there is a congregation to participate and enter into that communion. So while I am cognizant of my eternal desire to express (if only for my own sake), I’m not sure of how aware I am of my need to be received by someone else. Double-edged sword in some ways.
My heart is dying to be heard, most of the time. Even when all I want is to be alone and process, it’s only because it’s safer and i can keep things to myself.
I process things here in my bed on the keyboard of this laptop after an evening of prayer and some music alone. But it’s an online blog that everyone has the potential to see and provides an avenue to share some of my inner confusion and so on. SO it’s not all that personal. Probably most of anyone reading this would understand what I’m talking about, to some degree or another. And I arrive again at the odd counter-posed need to be alone, and the crying desire to be heard.